On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me – FIVE GOLDEN RINGS. For me, December marks 11 amazing years of service working at Opportunity. As I reflect, I consider all that has changed here at Opportunity International as our outreach to hard-working entrepreneurs across the globe soars. One thing from back here in my corner cubicle has not changed a single iota over the years – my true love for our amazing clients.
Let me tell you about Jorelyn who operates a thriving business selling jewelry, including necklaces, and you guessed it – rings. Not sure if they are gold rings, but rings nonetheless. Beside the obvious tie in to the fifth day of Christmas and her golden rings, I can’t help but introduce you to Jorelyn Scapano simply because she hales from beautiful Boracay Island in Philippines – who doesn’t love to daydream about the beach in December?
While it’s true life is often quite challenging for Jorelyn, she refuses to hang her head in despair. Instead, she takes the initiative to empower not only herself, but also the women in her community. Boracay Island in the Philippines is a tropical paradise drawing tourists with its beautiful beaches. However, for island natives like Jorelyn Scapano and her husband, Boracay Island is their home. Although they are surrounded by the riches of nature, the opportunities to earn a living are scarce. Until recently, she and her husband had no steady income and often lived in fear over the prospect of putting their young son and daughter to bed at night with hungry tummys. That thought keeps me awake at night – how can I forget, even for a single moment what our beloved clients are experiencing? And yet, here I am, running from store to store and spending hours on Amazon to ensure my family enjoys abundance on Christmas morning. I cannot make myself feel guilty for wanting to give my family all that I can, but I can find ways to give back. Today, join me as I celebrate the real heroes of Opportunity International as we go about our busy holiday preparations.
Things started looking up for Jorelyn when a neighbor told her about Opportunity International. A resourceful entrepreneur, she works hard to capitalize on the opportunities she accesses through Opportunity Philippines to positively impact her family and community. “Opportunity helps me improve my life and enrich the lives of those I love.” Once Jorelyn learned that Opportunity could help her increase her income to feed her children and send them to school, she became unstoppable.
Jorelyn strategically invested her first loan valuing $106 to launch a business selling seashells, stones, pearls and sharks’ teeth to tourists on the beach. Jorelyn embodies an entrepreneurial spirit; she designs, creates and sells jewelry at a kiosk that, several loans later, she now proudly owns. The business has grown exponentially and now supports her husband too whom she enlisted to sell her wares on the beach, doubling her capacity. Jorelyn also purchases large seashells from fishermen, stimulating the economy of the island.
Today, Jorelyn has a vision to open a large gift shop on the island which also fulfills her desire to create many jobs. She is passionate about designing jewelry using the seashells that cover the beaches of her home island. She hasn’t stopped at transforming her own family - she formed an apprenticeship to teach her craft to single moms who desperately need an income-generating business.
On behalf of millions of Opportunity clients, Happy Christmas. And on behalf of your new friend, Jorelyn, Maligayang Pasko!